North Dakota AD Faison Announces Retirement
CHN Staff Report
Brian Faison, a recent member of the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Committee, has announced he is retiring from his position as athletic director at North Dakota at the end of this calendar year.
"Retirement is never an easy decision when you love what you do. My wife and I began thinking about retirement about a year ago and the timing now just seems right for us and for the University,” said Faison.
Faison has been in charge through some big developments since taking over as AD in 2008, particularly in the last five years. Most notably, North Dakota has transitioned to Division I status in all sports, helped create the new NCHC in hockey, transitioned to a new nickname (an often emotionally-charged process), and last spring, worked through the elimination of some sports in a budget-cutting move, including women's ice hockey.
"Brian navigated the athletic department through a turbulent budget period with astute discretion and a calming demeanor, while making tough and bold decisions," UND President Mark Kennedy said. "In the midst of it all, he shepherded a conference realignment that promises student-welfare, competitive and financial benefits."
Kennedy noted that in the first year with the new logo as the Fighting Hawks, "all of UND's teams will be appropriately uniformed for 2017-18 and all of the facilities we compete in will have the new brand identity."
Of course, hockey is the flagship sport at North Dakota, and the team won a national championship in 2016.
“Brian has played a large role in the success of North Dakota men’s hockey throughout his tenure at UND," UND coach Brad Berry said. "He has been very supportive of and instrumental in the creation and growth of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Brian will always be known for his integrity and his respect for student-athletes. He will leave UND as a national champion in our program and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors."
Josh Fenton, NCHC commissioner, said: "Brian Faison is a person of integrity and class with great ability to be and act as a visionary for those who work with him. The National Collegiate Hockey Conference owes an incredible amount to him for his work in establishing and building our great organization. Simply, the success of the NCHC does not happen without the efforts from people like Brian. The membership of the NCHC and I will miss Brian’s leadership moving forward, but wish him nothing but the best in the future."